Details Report for:
29-1071.00 - Physician Assistants
Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
Sample of reported job titles: Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C), Clinical Physician Assistant, Family Practice Physician Assistant, General Surgery Physician Assistant, Midlevel Provider, Orthopaedic Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant Certified (PAC), Physician Extender, Physician's Assistant, Surgical Physician Assistant
Also see: Anesthesiologist Assistants
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
Tools used in this occupation:
- Alcohol analysers — Breath alcohol testers
- Anesthesia inhalers or inhaler units or accessories — Anesthesia ventilators
- Anoscopes or proctoscopes — Anoscopes
- Arterial blood gas monitors or accessories — Arterial blood gas monitoring equipment
- Arterial line catheters
- Audiometers or accessories — Audiometers
- Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles — Defibrillators
- Binocular light compound microscopes
- Blood collection needle — Blood collection needles
- Blood collection syringes
- Canes or cane accessories — Canes
- Cardiac ultrasound or doppler or echo units or cardioscopes — Doppler vascular equipment
- Cast cutters or saws — Cast removal saws
- Central venous catheters — Central venous pressure lines; Subclavian lines
- Cervical collars or neck braces — Cervical collars
- Chest tube — Chest tubes
- Crutches or crutch accessories — Crutches
- Diagnostic or interventional vascular catheters or sets — Swan catheters
- Electrocardiography EKG units
- Electronic blood pressure units — Electronic blood pressure monitors
- Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment — Electrocautery devices
- Emergency response litters or stretchers or accessories — Life support for trauma and transport LSTAT intensive care units
- Endoscopic video cameras or recorders or adapters or accessories — Endoscopic camera/video systems
- Eye charts or vision cards — Eye charts
- Fetal or gynecological ultrasound or echo units — Doppler ultrasound fetascopes
- Floor grade nail nippers — Nail nippers
- Gas anesthesia apparatus — Anesthesia equipment
- Glucose monitors or meters — Glucometers
- Head or neck traction supplies — Halo fixation devices; Tong traction devices
- High frequency ventilators — High-frequency ventilators
- Hypodermic needle — Intramuscular needles; Subcutaneous hypodermic needles
- Infusion pump kits or accessories — Interthercal therapy equipment
- Intraaortic balloon pump and accessories — Intra-aortic balloon pumps IABP
- Intracranial pressure ICP monitoring units or accessories — Intracranial pressure monitors
- Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits — Intravenous IV equipment
- Knee brace or support — Knee braces
- Laser printers
- Long term continuous electrocardiography EKG or holter monitoring systems — Holter monitors
- Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory — Mechanical stethoscopes
- Medical cine fluoroscopy equipment — Fluoroscopes
- Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanners — Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI machines
- Medical suction or vacuum appliances — Tracheal suctioning equipment
- Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use — X ray machines
- Mercury blood pressure units — Manual blood pressure units
- Microscope slides
- Nasogastric tubes
- Nebulizer or accessories — Nebulizers
- Notebook computers
- Ophthalmic slit lamps — Slit lamps
- Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets — Ophthalmoscopes; Otoscopes
- Orthopedic splint systems — Splints
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Pulse oximeter units — Oximeters
- Radio frequency transmitters or receivers — Portable satellite telehealth terminals
- Reflex hammers or mallets — Reflex hammers
- Spinal anesthesia kit or tray — Bone marrow biopsy equipment; Lumbar puncture equipment
- Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies — Pulmonary function testing PFT equipment; Spirometers
- Surgical clamps or clips or forceps or accessories — Artery forceps; Bull dog nose clamps; Mosquito artery forceps; Vascular straight aortic clamps
- Surgical curettes or loops — Surgical curettes
- Surgical dissectors — Dissector rods; Harvester rods
- Surgical lasers or accessories — Plastic surgery lasers
- Surgical microscopes or loops or magnifiers or accessories — Operating microscopes
- Surgical needle holders for general use — Needle holders
- Surgical probes or directors — Nail probes
- Surgical retractors for general use — Retractors
- Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories — Scalpel blades; Scalpel handles
- Surgical trocars for general use or accessories — Trocars
- Suture needles — Suturing needles
- Suture removers — Suture scissors
- Tablet computers
- Tongue depressors or blades or sticks — Tongue blades
- Treadmill exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Therapeutic treadmill exercisers
- Tuberculin syringes — Tuberculin TB skin test equipment
- Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Evacuated blood collection tubes; Vacutainer tubes
- Vacuum tube needles — Aspirating needles
- Vaginal exam specula — Vaginal specula
- Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment
- Walkers or rollators — Walkers
- Walking braces
Technology used in this occupation:
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — ChartWare software; Electronic medical record EMR software; Medical procedure coding software ; Teleradiology systems (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Storage media loading software — Patient records software for personal digital assistants PDAs
- Video conferencing software — Teleconferencing software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Diagnose medical conditions.
- Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
- Prescribe medications.
- Analyze test data or images to inform diagnosis or treatment.
- Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
- Prescribe treatments or therapies.
- Order medical diagnostic or clinical tests.
- Assist healthcare practitioners during surgery.
- Administer intravenous medications.
- Immunize patients.
- Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Order medical supplies or equipment.
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
|25-1071.00||Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary|
|25-1072.00||Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary|
|29-1141.04||Clinical Nurse Specialists|
|29-1161.00||Nurse Midwives Bright Outlook|
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$47.20 hourly, $98,180 annual|
|Employment (2014)||94,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Much faster than average (14% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||50,000|
|Top industries (2014)||
Health Care and Social Assistance (89% employed in this sector)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Physician assistants . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) , P.O. Box 13978, Tallahassee, FL 32317. Phone: (850) 656-8848.
- American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) , 950 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1552. Phone: (703) 836-2272. Fax: (703) 684-1924.
- National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) , 12000 Findley Rd., Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097. Phone: (678) 417-8100.
- Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) , 300 N. Washington St., Suite 505, Alexandria, VA 22314-2544. Phone: (703) 548-5538. Fax: (703) 548-5539.